In-situ catalytic upgrading of biomass fast pyrolysis vapors was performed in a fixed bed bench-scale reactor at 500°C, for catalyst screening purposes. The catalytic materials tested include a commercial equilibrium FCC catalyst (E-cat), various commercial ZSM-5 formulations, magnesium oxide and alumina materials with varying specific surface areas, nickel monoxide, zirconia/titania, tetragonal zirconia, titania and silica alumina. The bio-oil was characterized measuring its water content, the carbon-hydrogen-oxygen (by difference) content and the chemical composition of its organic fraction. Each catalytic material displayed different catalytic effects. High surface area alumina catalysts displayed the highest selectivity towards hydrocarbons, yielding however low organic liquid products. Zirconia/titania exhibited good selectivity towards desired compounds, yielding higher organic liquid product than the alumina catalysts. The ZSM-5 formulation with the highest surface area displayed the most balanced performance having a moderate selectivity towards hydrocarbons, reducing undesirable compounds and producing organic liquid products at acceptable yields.
- Catalytic upgrading